Hi I’m Claire, and I’m a community chorus member of The Grapes of Wrath here in Nottingham. Anyone who knows me, will also know that I love the theatre; nothing inspires me more than the magic black box which can be transformed into anywhere at any time, and in which the only limit to what can happen is the breadth of the human imagination – every performance space is like a real life TARDIS! So, yeah all things theatre make me very happy.
My Grapes of wrath experience started when a friend sent me a link to the community cast call out, and although it somehow ended up hidden between a meme and pictures of somebody’s hedgehog (that’s not a euphemism!), I made an 11th hour plea, and ended up at the audition the very next day, along with my mate Lesley and 30 strangers.
Despite being an occasional thesp, the word ‘Audition’ fills me with the same dread as the words ‘Exam’ and ‘Job interview’. As I arrived (in a bit of a wobbly state) I was anticipating some dystopian version of A Chorus Line, but was greeted by the ever lovely Playhouse team, and after an hour of Granny’s footsteps, rhythm clapping games, and trying not to fall over whilst walking in circles it was all over, it had been rather fun, and I had become a member of the cornucopia which is the Community Chorus.
The first few rehearsals were remarkably similar to the audition process; lots of fun trying to remember the names of 50 strangers, whilst also getting to know each other better. Early highlights have ranged from a game called ‘Ho Down’ which is simultaneously beautifully simple, and cripplingly difficult, to sharing fun facts – it turns out that between us we’ve done everything from tango in Argentina, to share a nightclub loo with an A-list celebrity! It’s amazing how quickly 50 entirely dissimilar strangers can become one unified cast.
It really has all been fun and games so far, well it was until the ‘Chicken Dance’ happened, but that’s a story for another time!